Studies, Reports, and Research

The reports from the biennial Circus Surveys conducted by ACE.

 Self-Determination Through Circus Arts

Self-Determination Through Circus Arts: Exploring Youth Development in a Novel Activity Context by Jennifer P. Agans, Jacqueline L. Davis, Spyridoula Vazou, and Tal Jarus. Published in the Journal of Youth Development in 2019. The study shows support for basic psychological needs and positive developmental outcomes among youth circus program participants.
 Youth Circus Social and Emotional Learning
A 2017 national study, commissioned by the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) and conducted by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, shows positive impact of circus programming on youth at risk.
Circus Research
A collection of studies, papers, and articles.

    Helpful Lists

Pre-Professional and Professional Programs, Intensives, Residencies (North America)
A master list of programs in North America for pursuing circus after youth circus, including useful information on application details, price, duration, and more.
Youth and Social Circus Worldwide Master List
An extensive global list of youth circus programs which teach multiple skills, compiled by Jacqueline Davis, Audrey Djunaedi, Lloyd D. Scharmecker Jr., and Brianna Marie Wegrzyn in 2017.
College Circus Clubs List
List of circus, juggling, and aerial clubs and groups at U.S. colleges and universities, organized by state.
AYCO/ACE Member Organizations
List of current AYCO/ACE member organizations

CSAW – Connecting Circus Students Around the World was founded by Sierra Rhoades Nicholls in 2018 to increase accessibility of information and funding for students of international circus schools. Through increase of knowledge, resources, community, and financial aid CSAW strives to assist future circus artists in finding the pathways best for them.

Each year, CSAW releases a master spreadsheet with circus schools application links, deadlines, and ambassadors. CSAW’s Ambassador program connects circus school hopefuls with volunteers from 15 international schools that help answer your top questions. You can also join the CSAW Facebook Group to ask questions to our 600+ members. CSAW efforts and dedication also help provide $1,000 Microgrants and a $5,000 Tuition Grant to US Circus Artists of Color.

Social Circus Tools

The Social Circus Tools provides access to resources that can help strengthen social circus programs.

    Important References

AYCO/ACE Ethical Principles of Sexual Harassment and Abuse Prevention

Core truths for reference in developing policy and best practices to prevent sexual abuse and harassment, released by the AYCO/ACE Health and Wellness Committee 2020.

Expanding Our Teaching: Coaching for All Students

A living guide on cultural humility created in 2019 by the Social Circus Committee.

Gender and Circus Coaching

An information and reference sheet on gender identity and circus created by the Youth Advisory Committee in 2017, reviewed by community members and updated 2023

(Please give feedback here!)

Health and Wellness Resources

Resources compiled by the ACE/AYCO Health and Wellness committee on sexual abuse prevention, suicide prevention, and other important topics.

Program Evaluation Toolbox

An entire step-by-step guide to collecting data about a circus education program, which can then be used to evaluate effectiveness, apply for funding, report to funders, etc.

NYCI Tool for Evaluating Outcomes in Youth Arts Projects
From the National Youth Council of Ireland, a set of scales specially designed to help measure the outcomes of youth arts projects.
Recommended Core Competencies for Youth Circus Practitioners
Eight recommended core competencies, as created by twenty-five AYCO organizational members at the 2010 AYCO Educator’s Conference.
AYCO/ACE Minor Safety Policies
AYCO/ACE takes the safety of all minors interacting with AYCO/ACE programs and governance very seriously. These practices have been established to prevent harassment or abuse of minors.
Grant Writing Tips
Tips and examples from Phyllis Martin (AKA Truffle Pig) on grant writing for circus practitioners in the USA.
Circus Games
Link to purchase Games for Circus Educators, Organizers, and Innovators and form to submit games for a future edition.

    Client Management Options


VAMP is a web-based studio management system designed specifically for circus schools, by a member of the community. ACE organizational members get a 20% discount!


A circus-school friendly client management system – ACE organizational members get a 10% discount!